Freeze or smear… it is in your hands.

I looked over the shots I have taken during the last six weeks or so… and by gosh by golly… I couldn’t find any that were good examples to help illustrate the subject of the day…. shutter speed control.

Yes… how quickly or slowly the shutter opens and closes can change the “look” of the photograph…. not always but many times.

It really is up to you… the master creator! Everybody knows… that the quicker the shutter speed… the less a subject is “allowed to move” in the photo. Usually…. you can stop something ( freeze the subject ) that is in motion…. by shooting at a shutter speed faster than 1/250th of a second. But please… don’t hold me to that… it is only a ball park thing. Don’t expect to shoot something at that shutter speed… that is moving at a hundred miles an hour… to be frozen in its tracts. Sorry… it ain’t going to happen. But you get the idea.

Below is a shot where the shutter speed was about 1/400th… and sure enough the water is frozen… so to speak. Always fun to stop something in mid air… if that is what you want to achieve.

pool stuff026_RT16 copy

a-IMG_0291 b-wcopy copy

Now take a long peek at the black and white photo above …. to me … what is even more fun and… more interesting… is shooting the subject at a SLOWER speed… so that the subject… in this case… it is water again ( sorry ) … moves through frame to create a “smear.” I love this stuff. Especially when the moving water is juxtaposed to a rigid object…. ie… the rock. But of course…. the slower the speed the more you must rely on your tripod.

Most humans can hand-hold a camera motionless for only a split second…. actually about….1/25th of a second. This particular photo was shot at… here comes the mumbo jumbo…. F-22 at 1.3 seconds at ISO 100. It is in focus from here to there ( F-22)… smooth as can be ( ISO 100)… and a shutter speed of 1.3 seconds… requiring a tripod. But look at the results! Dramatic. Different. And deliciously black and white. More about how to achieve a B/W photo from a color one… later. For now… make use of various shutter speeds in order to CREATE a photograph instead of just taking one. And really… isn’t that where all the fun is?


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